This text analyzes distance education in Brazil in order to establish the theoretical and practical links between two of its essential dimensions: The political injunctions that determine the practices tested in various experiments under way; and the economical issues that emerge from the technologies used and how they articulate to the real conditions of implementation. The analysis is based on data from empirical research conducted at different moments of Brazilian recent history, with an emphasis on teacher training experiments. Emphasis is given to the analysis of the forms of appropriation and use of the distance education proposals by users. The contradictions between the promises of a technocratic discourse, which gives priority to technique, and the reality of the teaching systems, which are not able to guarantee the basic conditions to accomplish the proposals, is also highlighted.
Educational communication; Distance education; Educational technology; Information and communication technologies; Teacher training